We don’t think much about our eyes except when something goes wrong. However, each year thousands of Americans experience an eye injury that could have been prevented with proper eyewear.
Water sports and activities take the number two slot: swimming, surfing, scuba diving, and water skiing/tubing. In kids 14 and younger, guns, including air, gas, spring, and BB, caused the most eye injuries.
Injuries to the eye from sports can include infection, corneal abrasions, blunt trauma, inflamed iris, fracture of the eye socket, swollen or detached retinas or even a traumatic cataract. All eye injuries are dangerous, but a serious eye injury can cause vision loss—permanently.
Here are some guidelines from Prevent Blindness America, which has designated September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, on the best ways to keep eyes safe to stay in the game:
- Those who wear prescription glasses should ask their eye doctor to be fitted with prescription eye protection.
- Monocular athletes (those with only one eye that sees well), should consult with an eye doctor to determine which sports are safe to participate in. Monocular athletes should always wear sports eye protection.
- Sports protective eyewear should be labeled as ASTM F803 approved. Check the packaging to ensure that the eye protector selected has been tested for sports use.
- Make sure the lenses either stay in place or pop outward in the event of an accident. Lenses that pop in against the eyes can be very dangerous.
- Fogging of the lenses can be a problem. Some types of protective eyewear are available with anti-fog coating. Others have side vents for additional ventilation. Try on different types to determine which is most comfortable.
- Sports eye protection should be padded or cushioned along the brow and bridge of the nose. Padding will prevent the eye protection from cutting the skin.
- Try on the eye protector to determine if it’s the right size before purchasing. Adjust the strap and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose.
- All athletes should get an eye exam from an eye care professional. An expert may be able to detect a vision problem and improve performance in addition to saving sight later in life.
While injury to the eye can happen literally in the blink of an eye, the effects can last a lifetime. If you have a child who plays a sport, Accent on Eyes’ physicians encourages you to find the right sports eye protection to protect their vision and consistently make their eye safety a priority every time they enter the game.
Got something stuck in your eye? Get hit by a baseball while playing catch with your son? Accent on Eyes can help heal your injured eye with the most advanced, least invasive techniques. Ensure your injury doesn’t get any worse by visiting us today!